With forthcoming SQE Music debut 27 Ways, a more confident sound and extensive summer tour dates, Desert Noises seem to be traveling in the right direction as they hurtle towards release day. Paste got the chance to hear the story behind this Utah-based rock band as frontman Kyle Henderson filled us in on the dream-inspired band name, what it’s like to traverse America in a van and his decision to quit a conventional lifestyle to pursue music full-time. Listen to their forthcoming album 27 Ways in its entirety in the player above, and check out an interview with Henderson below.
First of all, the name Desert Noises came from a dream you had. Can you tell me a little more about the story behind the band title?
Henderson: Yeah, well the band name came from a dream I had early on. We were trying to decide on band names and had really been coming up with the most terrible ideas. And then, I had a dream one night and just woke up and wrote it on a piece of paper on the side of my bed. I woke up the next morning and just thought, that actually sounds like a pretty cool band name.
So is the new album title also dream-influenced?
Henderson: No, but a lot of the songs we have written are based on dreams that we’ve had at some time.
You guys have an interesting backstory, and 27 Ways seems to be almost a tribute to your hometown departure and pursuit of music on the road. How did this early life and growing up in the Utah Valley influence your music?
Henderson: Almost in every way, you know? We have a culture of being super religious and that kind of thing. And then there’s also the nature out hereit’s just out of control. We have massive mountains and beautiful landscapes. You have this kind of pressuring society in the middle of this beautiful, beautiful place.
Ive read that you guys literally set out in a van three years ago to pursue music, leaving behind jobs and family. How did you all make the tough decision to hit the road and pursue Desert Noises full-time?
Henderson: Well, I think it was just – I don’t know. I had a feeling. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing, you know? And I just kind of had this overwhelming feeling of – I need to stop doing what i’m doing right now. I just needed to stop before really getting lost. So I quit everything that was going on at that time and just left that all behind…family and friends. Everything. I jumped in a van. And I didn’t ever really look back after that, you know?
You’ve mentioned before that the band kind of chose all of you – so how did you four actually get together and start making music collectively as Desert Noises?
Henderson: Kind of slowly, you know? Before it was just kind of a high school, well not really high school project because I was out of high school but we just kind of played around and recorded an album. During the recording, my brother left on a mormon mission. So that kind of happened. And then I decided this is all i wanted to do. And things just started to really to happen.
Awesome. So it really just grew slowly and organically into something bigger. And now, you guys have several upcoming US tour dates and I saw that you’re hitting the festival circuit as well with a show at the Hangout. I’m sure you’re all really excited to finally share the new material.
Henderson: Absolutely. It’s super exciting. Yeah we’re so, so excited about all of that. It’s kind of like a dream come true.
So with all the touring, the band is on the road a lot traveling and playing in so many cities. Any crazy road trip stories or something memorable along the way that’s really stuck in your mind?
Henderson: Oh man! There are so many. Every night, we really try to hangout with people and just figure out what’s going on. We’re not very, I guess we don’t really keep to ourselves at all. We stay with different people every night and we’ve now created these friendships all around the country. And we keep meeting new people, so i think there are really stories in every single day. Every day, we get to meet new people, every day we get to experience something new that others don’t get to experience. Just embracing that is something that we really look forward to and try to do always.
That’s great. Speaking of traveling, the band has mentioned mixed influence – anything from Led Zeppelin, to Neil Young, to Tame Impala and even Latin rhythms? So what does the band listen to for inspiration on the road?
Henderson: Yeah, yeah absolutely. In the band and on the road, so much is playing. There are so many different styles of music, because everyone did come in at a different time and all of that. We weren’t just a group of people who liked the same music and decided to start a band, you know what i mean? We like different things, and everybody has a different style. So it’s totally so random. You’ll hear country music and rock and roll music, and R & B. It’s just all over the map, because everybody likes such different things. It’s really awesome, because we get to listen to different styles all the time.
So on this forthcoming album, what can we expect? A new sound or direction?
Henderson: I think it just sounds a little more confident, you know? From being out on the road, it’s a little more road tested. Definitely more confidence than the last one.
27 Ways is set for release on March 25. Check out their upcoming tour dates in below.
Desert Noises Tour Dates
19 - Chattanooga, Tenn. @ JJ’s Bohemia
21 - Roanoke, Va. @ Kirk Ave
22 - Washington, D.C. @ Hamilton (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
23 - Annapolis Md. @ Ram’s Head (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
25 - Pittsburgh Pa. @ Club Cafe (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
27 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ WCLu (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
28 - New York, N.Y. @ Mercury Lounge (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
29 - Boston, Mass. @ Great Scott (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
30 - Rochester N.Y. @ Bug Jar
1 - Cleveland, Ohio @ Beachland Tavern (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
2 - Maumee, Ohio @ Village Idiot
3 - Columbus Ohio @ The Basement (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
4 - Chicago, Ill @ Schubas (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
5 - Minneapolis Minn. @ 7th St (w/ Wheeler Brothers)
8 - Whitesburg, Ky. @ Summit City
10 - Raleigh, N.C. @ Kings (w/ Roadkill Ghost Choir)
11 - Winston Salem NC – Garage (w/ Roadkill Ghost Choir)
12 - Charlotte, N.C. @ Evening Muse (w/ Roadkill Ghost Choir)
13 - Wooster, Ohio @ College of Wooster
15 - Knoxville, Tenn. @ Barleys
16 - Atlanta, Ga. @ The Earl (w/ Winter Sounds)
17 - Nashville, Tenn. @ Basement (w/ Winter Sounds)
18 - St. Louis, Mo. @ Duck Room (w/ Winter Sounds)
19 - Springfield, Mo. @ Outland Ballroom (w/ Winter Sounds)
22 - KCMO @ Czar Bar (w/ Winter Sounds)
23 - Omaha, Neb. @ The Hive (w/ Winter Sounds)
25 - Lincoln Neb. @ Vega (w/ Winter Sounds)
3 - Salt Lake City, Utah @ Urban Lounge
17 - Mobile Ala. @ Hangout Music Fest